Why Can’t I Just Stop Eating No Matter How Hard I Try?

Why Can’t I Just Stop Eating No Matter How Hard I Try?

Why Can’t I Just Stop Eating No Matter How Hard I Try?
Why Can’t I Just Stop Eating No Matter How Hard I Try?

 Why Can’t I Just Stop Eating No Matter How Hard I Try?

There is a saying that is often tossed around in fat loss circles. “What you eat in private, you wear in public.” Personal trainers use this quote to death trying to scare their female clients into eating less and eating right. Yet, this is one of those things that are easier said than done.

All too many women know the temptations that they get assaulted by on a daily basis. They’re trying to be on a steamed broccoli and asparagus diet but the body is screaming for cheesecake and ice-cream.

They try to cut down their meal portions and frequency but their stomachs keep growling for more food than an ill-tempered bear. So the question is… Why is it so difficult?

There are a few reasons for this.

One mistake that many women make when trying to lose weight is that they do too much too soon. From a diet that is full of comfort foods such as chocolate and chips they try to switch to a wholesome diet of lean chicken breast and steamed veggies. They do this overnight.

You can’t go from zero to hero in a day. Or in this case, heroine.

The body does not work that way. You need to make small changes over time. If you’re eating potato chips in front of the TV daily, then you should try and cut that out first. Eliminate the bad habits in small, measured. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard.

If you try to do too much too soon, compliance with your new, self-imposed strict rules will be an insurmountable task. You have set yourself up for a fall. You will then give in to temptation and start wondering why you just can’t stop eating all the junk food.

Your goal should be to stop eating foods that are detrimental to your health. You shouldn’t aim to stop eating to the point where you’re anorexic. That is not a situation you want to be in and in most cases it occurs because of overly stringent rules.

Another reason it may seem difficult to stick by your diet is because you have made it difficult. You’re probably scratching your head and thinking, “Whaat?!”

The fact of the matter is that most people have been on a bad diet for years. It is a habit that is ingrained deeply. If you’re overweight, you most probably have the habit of indulging in foods and eating practices that are questionable. That is not shameful despite what society says.

You just have bad eating habits. There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that you can replace bad habits with good ones. The bad news is that it will take time and conscientious effort. You will face some form of inertia and resistance.

The human body does not like change. It will resist and you will find yourself craving for foods that you know you should avoid. If you suddenly change your diet overnight, you are going to find it immensely challenging. So what do you do?

You give in to temptation a little. If you are craving chocolate, go ahead and get a bar, cut a small piece and eat that. Throw the rest in the trash bin immediately so that you can’t go back and eat it.

Do not put it in the refrigerator for your spouse to finish it up later. In most cases, it’ll probably be you who finishes it. Will power is overrated.

The key to slowly cutting down your appetite and cravings will be to take baby steps and make small, consistent progress. Give in to temptations a little but don’t indulge to the point you’re almost in a sugar induced coma.

Exercise moderation and good sense with your goals. In due time, you will notice your cravings diminish and you’ll reach your goal of eating right and in proportions that will support your goal of a slim, healthy body.


How Your Body and Mind Are Intimately Linked Through Your Hormones

How Your Body and Mind Are Intimately Linked Through Your Hormones

Body and Mind
Body and Mind

Body and Mind

In the book Calm Mind, Healthy Body, we discuss in detail the importance of having a calm mind and we look at how controlling and calming your thoughts can ultimately improve your health by removing the stress response.

But did you know that this also works just as potently the other way around? That is to say that your health can also impact on your stress levels? Even your hunger can impact on stress – which in turn impacts on hunger again. It’s a complex interplay and in a moment, we’ll see more about this works and why your lifestyle is a key factor in controlling your stress.

What Happens When You Eat

If you’re stressed right now, then one method you might be able to use to fix that is to eat more. When you eat, your blood sugar spikes. This is then in turn followed by a spike in insulin, which triggers the body to remove the sugar from the blood along with any nutrients.

If you’ve eaten carbs (which provide the fastest sugar spike) then you will also have tryptophan in the blood. Tryptophan is an amino acid that also happens to be a building block of the neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’. Because tryptophan can cross the brain barrier and because it gets left behind by the insulin response, this then leads to a sudden spike in serotonin in the brain and you feel very good.

This is why you feel in a good mood after you’ve eaten!

What’s more, is that serotonin eventually converts into melatonin – the sleep hormone. That’s why everyone always falls asleep after Christmas dinner!

What Happens When You Get Hungry

But let’s say you haven’t eaten for a while. What happens then?

Well, you now have very low levels of tryptophan in your brain and this in turn increases cortisol – there is no way to impact a single neurotransmitter in isolation; levels of one will always impact on levels of the other.

Cortisol then replaces serotonin and this increases the production of ghrelin – the hunger hormone. That’s what makes your stomach start to rumble. It also increases stress and triggers anxious thoughts. This is why we get ‘hangry’ and why you’re ‘not you when you’re hungry’.

Other Things That Impact on Your Mood

There are plenty of other ways we can impact on our levels of neurotransmitters and hormones too though.

For example, when you wake up first thing in the morning you will have been fasting all through the night. At this point your serotonin levels are incredibly low and you have high cortisol making you stressed. At the same time, the light from the sun also increases the release of cortisol which wakes you up (stress hormones are stimulatory whereas relaxation hormones tend to be sedative). Cortisol removes melatonin from the brain and also widens the veins via nitric oxide.

Then there are other things you can do: exercise for instance is well known to increase serotonin and other endorphins and boost the mood. It’s time to stop thinking of your brain as an isolated thing!